Marcus Rashford: Kylian Mbappe sent DM to England star after Euro 2020 penalty miss

  • Rob Swan

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The football community has rallied around Marcus Rashford - along with his England teammates Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho - after the Manchester United star suffered racist abuse on social media in the aftermath of the Euro 2020 final.

Rashford, Sancho and Saka all missed their penalties in the shoot-out against Italy at Wembley.

England subsequently failed to win their first major tournament final since the 1966 World Cup.

The online abuse directed towards the England trio was appalling. The Football Association and Prime Minister Boris Johnson were among those to condemn the racist messages on Monday.

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What has Marcus Rashford said since his penalty miss?

Rashford, meanwhile, published an emotional social media statement on Monday evening.

The 23-year-old, who received an MBE in October 2020 for services to vulnerable children in the UK, admitted he went into the final “with a lack of confidence”.

“I’ve always backed myself for a penalty but something didn’t feel quite right,” he added. “During the long run up I was saving myself a bit of time and unfortunately the result was not what I wanted. I felt as though I had let my teammates down. I felt as if I’d let everyone down.

“A penalty was all I’d been asked to contribute for the team. I can score penalties in my sleep so why not that one? It’s been playing in my head over and over since I struck the ball and there’s probably not a word to quite describe how it feels. Final. 55 years. 1 penalty. History. All I can say is sorry. I wish it had of gone differently.”

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Kylian Mbappe knows how Rashford is feeling

One person who knows exactly how Rashford currently feels is France superstar Kylian Mbappe.

The 22-year-old also missed a decisive penalty at Euro 2020, during France’s 5-4 penalty shoot-out defeat against Switzerland in the last 16.

"I'm sorry about this penalty. I wanted to help the team but I failed," Mbappe wrote on Instagram after that match. "It's going to be hard to sleep after this, but unfortunately these are the ups and downs of this sport that I love so much.”

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Kylian Mbappe sent DM to Marcus Rashford

Per The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell, Mbappe was the first person to send a supportive direct message to Rashford following his miss in the Euro 2020 final.

“Encouragement and advice have come from unexpected places already,” Whitwell wrote. “Kylian Mbappe was the first to send a direct message to Rashford, offering empathy.

“Mbappe mentioned his own missed penalty in France’s shootout with Switzerland and told Rashford to stay positive.”

Class from Mbappe.

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The Frenchman was acutely aware of the pain Rashford would have been feeling.

There’s no doubt that reading the message from Mbappe, one of the greatest footballers in the world and someone who was in a similar situation just a couple of weeks earlier, would have made Rashford feel a little better during the most difficult moment of his career so far.

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